George Strait songs never cease to amaze.
Ask anybody in the music business, and they will absolutely answer without hesitation, George Strait is the coolest guy in country music. With a record of forty-five No. 1 singles on the Billboard Country Singles chart – the most of any artist – Strait’s position in country music history is well-cemented. Of course, his music has quite literally served as the soundtrack to many country fans’ lives.
Check out our list of the top ten songs from the one and only George Strait.
10. “Amarillo By Morning”
From: Strait From the Heart (1982)
The rodeo ballad has become one of country music’s most recognizable anthems and helped propel George Strait to stardom. Kevin John Coyne of Country Universe even said that Strait has “finally found his niche as a performer.” He added that the “simple arrangement and understated delivery are the defining elements of just about every Strait record since.”
The song tells the poignant story of a rodeo cowboy’s life on the road and how he “lost a wife and a girlfriend somewhere along the way.” However, despite being Strait’s most famous song, it is not one of his No. 1 singles, reaching only at No. 4 on the Country chart.
9. “You Look So Good in Love”
From: Right or Wrong (1983)
With a lyric filled with regret, this song tells the tale of a man who only sees the beauty of his former flame now that she’s already in the arms of someone else. Though the man feels sorry for himself for not being the one to make her happy, part of him realizes it wasn’t meant to be.
The song became Strait’s third No. 1 hit as many country fans empathize with the budding young star.
8. “Give It Away”
From: It Just Comes Natural (2006)
For more than twenty years, Conway Twitty had held the record for having the most No. 1s on the Hot Country Songs chart, with 40 chart-toppers under his belt. However, in September 2006, George Strait surpassed Twitty’s mark when “Give It Away” advanced to No. 1, Strait’s 41st country song to achieve the top position.
Written by Jamey Johnson, Bill Anderson, and Buddy Cannon, the song also won both the Single Record of the Year and Song of the Year during the 2007 Academy of Country Music Awards. It also won Song of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards the same year.
Deborah Evans Price of Billboard magazine has also reviewed the song favorably, describing it as “a leavin’ song that would’ve worked in any decade.”
7. “Love Without End”
From: Livin’ It Up (1990)
Written by Aaron Barker, “Love Without End, Amen” tells the tale about a boy who was sent home from school for fighting. After telling his father what happened, the young boy expected a harsh punishment. But much to his surprise, his father only told him that “Daddies don’t just love their children every now and then. It’s a love without end, amen.”
Although Strait didn’t actually write the song, it has parallels to his life. The lyrics, “When I became a father in the spring of ’81. There was no doubt that stubborn boy was just like my father’s son,” are proven to be true since his son, Bubba, was also born in 1981. The two have a very close bond that Bubba has even co-written most of Strait’s more recent songs.
Barker has also revealed that the song was a true-to-life experience. It was when his 16-year-old son got involved in a car accident. He knew right then and there that he had to be the dad and his relationship with his son had to change fundamentally.
But he wondered to himself, “How can you be that mad at somebody and still love them that much? Where does that come from?” And the answer was “Love Without End, Amen.”
6. “Carrying Your Love With Me”
From: Carrying Your Love With Me (1997)
George Strait has always kept romance at the heart of his music, and “Carrying Your Love With Me” is the best example of that. Written by Steve Bogard and Jeff Stevens, the song tells the tale of a man who has to leave home but makes sure he carries the love of his significant other wherever he may go.
“‘Cause I’m carrying your love with me, West Virginia down to Tennessee. I’ll be moving with the good Lord’s speed, carrying your love with me,” Strait giving voice to the deepest kind of love a man can have for a woman.
Songwriter Steve Bogard revealed that when Jeff Stevens thought of the song’s title, they did not write the tune “until about six months later,” he recalled to Taste of Country. “We just let it percolate, and finally, I got the idea for the ‘beat-up leather bag’ metaphor.”
The duo then writes the song in just a few hours. “[They] put it on hold and made us promise not to play the demo, which we hadn’t done yet, for anyone until he could send it to George,” Bogard concluded. “I’m glad we did. It’s a great cut!” It went on becoming another No. 1 hit for the King of Country.
5. “I Cross My Heart”
From: Pure Country (1992)
George Strait set female hearts aflutter with the emotional lyrics from “I Cross My Heart.” Today, it is one of the most famous country love songs. You’d hear it at almost every country wedding you go to for a reason.
Written by Steve Dorff and Eric Kaz, the song actually took a decade to find its way home to Strait. After playing it for a bunch of people, only to be rejected, the time finally came when the duo had to play it for Strait and producer Tony Brown.
“George said, ‘Let’s try it.’ And to his credit, George owned it,” Dorff said. “We made a great record, and then everybody was scared to put it out as the first single from the movie because it’s a ballad. You don’t lead with a new album with a movie with a ballad that doesn’t sound anything like George Strait, but they did. And it was a monster.”
The song was also the soundtrack to the movie of the same title, where Strait starred in as Wyatt “Dusty” Chandler, a fictional country singer that set female hearts aflutter. Even though the movie was not a huge box office success, the Pure Country soundtrack became a tremendous success. The soundtrack album, which was all sung by Strait, hit No. 1 on the charts and is one of Strait’s most successful albums, with over six million copies sold.
4. “I Just Want to Dance with You”
From: One Step at a Time (1998)
Written by some of the best in country music, John Prine and Roger Cook, the song is a “tropical-flavored li’l ditty, awash in delicate guitar work that is as tantalizing and refreshing as a summer breeze,” Billboard magazine said.
When asked why he recorded the song, the King of Country said: “I felt it had such a great laid-back melody and groove if you will, and I also loved the lyrics. Especially the line ‘That’s what they intended dancing for.’ I think I changed it to ‘That’s what they invented dancing for,’ but ended up saying both in the song. It’s little things like that-little things that are so simple, but yet so clever-that really make a song.”
3. “Ocean Front Property”
From: Ocean Front Property (1987)
Of George Strait’s several No. 1 one hits, “Ocean Front Property” is absolutely one of the most clever. Written by Hank Cochran, Royce Porter, and Dean Dillion, the song reached No. 1 after a four-month climb up the charts. The song also hit No. 1 in Canada.
The song also received good reviews from music critics. Ben Foster of Country Universe, for instance, praised Strait for his performance of the song, saying, “Strait’s vocal interpretation is just straightforward enough to keep the song’s left-of-center metaphor from coming across as campy, keeping the undertone of sadness fully intact.”
“Ocean Front Property,” tells the tale of a man speaking to his lover who is preparing to leave him. In the beginning, it seems like the man won’t miss her, as he sings, “I won’t ever take you back. Girl, your mem’ry won’t ever haunt me. Cause I don’t love you.”
But then, the man went on to say that if his love “buys” what he’s saying, then “I got some ocean front property in Arizona. From my front porch, you can see the sea.” Through these lyrics, you can clearly tell that the man wasn’t telling the truth before. It would just be impossible for him to stop loving her as it would for him to get an ocean front property in the middle of Arizona.
2. “The Chair”
From: Something Special (1985)
“The Chair” is a clever song about a man attempting to start a conversation with a beautiful woman by telling her she is sitting in his chair. It reached the top of the charts just a few months after its release and is highly regarded as one of the best country songs of all time.
Interestingly, the song came at the end of a night-long songwriting binge by two country music songwriters, Dean Dillon and Hank Cochran. The duo was celebrating the two songs they’ve written for Keith Whitley. It was four in the morning, “and I don’t know what happened,” Dillon said. “But then Hank sat down in a chair across from me, and I looked at him, picked up the guitar, struck a G chord, and started singing, ‘Well, excuse me, but I think you’ve got my chair.'” Forty-five minutes later, “The Chair” was complete.
1. “I Saw God Today”
From: Troubadour (2008)
This song by George Strait has the highest chart debut of his long career, reaching No. 1 on U.S. Hot Country Songs. It garnered Strait several awards and accolades too, such as a Single of the Year at the 2008 CMA Awards and a nomination for a Dove Award for Country Recorded Song of the Year at the 40th GMA Dove Awards.
“I Saw God Today” tells the beautiful tale of a man who says, “I’ve been to church, I’ve read the book,” but doesn’t see any signs of God until his baby girl was born. He finally realized that “His fingerprints are everywhere, I just slowed down to stop and stare, opened my eyes and man I swear, I saw God today.”
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